Friday, October 10, 2008

What I replayed three times on my iPod last night 

HH: Victor Davis Hanson, we�ve got two minutes to our first break here. Would you define for the audience hubris?

VDH: Well, it�s a classical concept, and it�s over-weaning arrogance. And what it means is that when things, it�s a very complex idea, but it means when things are going good, the person feels somehow that those good developments, that positive feeling is because of something he did. And then does something in excess more and more. They have another word, koros, excess. And then this finally is sort of a self-delusional process, and there�s gods in the world that egg this person on because he lacks, the word is sophrosyne or moderation. And then of course, he implodes, and the words atte (sp?). There�s a succession from hubris to atte [actually Ate', from the Iliad --kb], destruction, and this is the result of Nemesis. There is a god, Nemesis, that deludes people into thinking that whatever positive things that have happened to them is entirely because of their own rarely-answered genius and not because of accidents or fate or luck. So we all, the Greeks tell us when things start going well, do not think that you necessarily, if you�re a Wall Street financier or a Fannie Mae, that you are responsible, because you�re going to just keep doing to excess. I think Obama�s had that problem when things have gone well most of his life. He�s been able, as he said in his memoirs, to talk people into trusting him, or to talk people into doing things they otherwise might not do given his record of achievement.
From the first hour of Hugh Hewitt's two-hour interview of Victor Hanson.